From Classic Sports to College Sports

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Classic Sports Network cofounders Brian Bedol and Steve Greenberg are
re-entering the cable business with a new digital entity dedicated to college
sports.

Set to debut in 2003, National College Sports Network will offer live games
and ancillary programming -- both original and acquired -- focusing on college
sports from basketball and football to track and field and baseball, Bedol
said.

While not revealing financial partners, Bedol said the company
will amass more than $100 million in seed money to launch the
venture.

Along with Bedol and Greenberg, the network also counts former Nike executive
Chris Bevilacqua as a cofounder.

'College sports is the biggest niche that hasn't been filled,' Bedol said.
'Given the popularity of college sports, it's surprising that there hasn't been
a channel dedicated to the genre.'

While the broadcast networks, along with ESPN, Fox Sports Net and Turner
Sports, hold rights to high-profile college-football and basketball packages,
Bedol said, the network will offer live games from both sports, as well as
shoulder programming supporting key rivalries that may appear on other
networks.

The network will also provide classic games and coverage of tournaments in
several sports, as well as assisting colleges in alumni fund-raising and
athlete-recruiting efforts.

The network already lists the Big Ten Conference as a partner, although it's
unclear what conference events it will actually televise.

Bedol -- who, along with Greenberg, sold Classic Sports
to ESPN in 1997 -- said the network is talking with several MSOs about
distribution, but it has yet to reach any deals.

He would not disclose the network's rate card.

Related